桃   花   源   

 Peach Blossom Shangri-La 

 大家盡一點力來創造一個人間樂園 ∞ Let's all help to create a Shangri-La 


"Jainism (/ˈdʒeɪnɪzəm/), traditionally known as Jain Dharma, is an ancient Indian religion and a major world religious group. It traces its spiritual ideas and history through a succession of twenty-four leaders or Tirthankaras, with the first in the current time cycle being Rishabhadeva, whom the tradition holds to have lived millions of years ago; the twenty-third tirthankara Parshvanatha, whom historians date to 9th century BCE; and the twenty-fourth tirthankara, Mahavira around 600 BCE. Jainism is considered to be an eternal dharma with the tirthankaras guiding every time cycle of the cosmology.

The main religious premises of the Jain dharma are ahiṃsā (non-violence), anekāntavāda (many-sidedness), aparigraha (non-attachment) and asceticism (abstinence from sensual pleasures). Devout Jains take five main vows: ahiṃsā (non-violence), satya (truth), asteya (not stealing), brahmacharya (sexual continence), and aparigraha (non-possessiveness). These principles have affected Jain culture in many ways, such as leading to a predominantly vegetarian lifestyle. Parasparopagraho jīvānām (the function of souls is to help one another) is the faith's motto and the Ṇamōkāra mantra is its most common and basic prayer.

Jainism is one of the world's oldest continuously-practiced religions. It has two major ancient sub-traditions, Digambaras and Śvētāmbaras, with different views on ascetic practices, gender and which texts can be considered canonical; both have mendicants supported by laypersons (śrāvakas and śrāvikas). The Śvētāmbara tradition in turn has three subtraditions: Mandirvāsī, Terapanthi and Sthānakavasī. The religion has between four and five million followers, known as Jains, who reside mostly in India. Outside India, some of the largest communities are in Canada, Europe, and the United States, with Japan hosting a fast-growing community of converts. Major festivals include Paryushana and Das Lakshana, Ashtanika, Mahavir Janma Kalyanak, Akshaya Tritiya, and Dipawali."

          (from Wikipedia)


The book below was written by Herbert Warren chiefly based on notes of talks and lectures by Virchand R. Gandhi. Information about Gandhi is provided below:

"Virachand Raghavji Gandhi (25 August 1864 – 7 August 1901) was a Jain scholar who represented Jainism at the first World Parliament of Religions in 1893. A barrister by profession, he worked to defend the rights of Jains, and wrote and lectured extensively on Jainism, other religions, and philosophy.

Gandhi represented Jainism at the first World Parliament of Religions, held in Chicago in 1893. Jain monk Acharya Vijayanandsuri, also known as Acharya Atmaram, had initially been invited to represent Jainism at the Parliament, but as Jain monks do not travel overseas, he could not attend. Atmaram recommended Gandhi to go in his stead and serve as the emissary for the religion. Atmaram and his disciple Vallabhsuri trained Gandhi for six months.

Gandhi received a positive response at the Parliament and was asked to deliver more lectures. He ultimately stayed two years in the US and one year in the UK He went outside India to promote Jain values on two other occasions, and is known for giving about 535 lectures on Jainism and having attracted followers from outside India to Jainism. He was awarded various medals for his lectures.

He was a contemporary to Swami Vivekanand, who deeply admired him. He faced criticism over his sea voyage, which was at the time considered unholy. Vivekanand, impressed with Gandhi's adherence to vegetarianism in the face of the cold Chicago climate, came to his defence: in an 1894 letter to Haridas Viharidas Desai, Diwan of Junagadh, he wrote "Now here is Virchand Gandhi, the Jain whom you knew well in Bombay. This man never takes anything but mere vegetables even in this terribly cold climate and tooth and nail tries to defend his countrymen and the religion. The people of this country like him very well. But what are they doing who sent him over? They are trying to outcast him."

Herbert Warren, who studied Jainism under Gandhi and adopted the Jain religion, published a book on Gandhi's lectures titled Herbert Warren's Jainism.

The American newspaper, the Buffalo Courier, wrote regarding Gandhi, "of all Eastern scholars, it was this youth whose lectures on Jain Faith and Conduct was listened to with the greatest interest and attention". Later, in Kasadova, he delivered a lecture on 'Some Mistakes Corrected' on 8 August 1894, which prompted the citizens of the city to award him a gold medal.

Gandhi had studied Buddhism, Vedanta Philosophy, Christianity, and western philosophy. He praised Mogul Emperor Akbar for his equal treatment of all religions.

Gandhi propagated the relevance of Jain tenets and Mahavira's message of nonviolence. He delivered about 535 speeches on Jainism, other religions, and social and cultural lives in India, all of which received wide publication. He was invited two more times, first in 1897, and then in 1899 to the West.

Gandhi founded Gandhi Philosophical Society and the Society for the Education of Women in India (SEWI). He participated in Pune session of Indian National Congress in 1895 as a representative of Bombay state, and lectured on Indian politics and industry in Large Hall of William Science building on 19 December 1898. He also participated at the International Conference of Commerce in 1899 and represented Asia. He settled tax disputes of Palitana and Shikharji piggery case.

Gandhi died at the age of thirty-seven of haemorrhaging of the lungs on 7 August 1901 at Mahuwar, near Mumbai, India."

            (from Wikipedia)




The book below is published by the Federation of Jaina Associations of North America

   Jainism I - Basics of Jainism


Description of a book "Jain Rāmāyaṇa Narratives: Moral Vision and Literary Innovation":

"Jain Rāmāyaṇa Narratives: Moral Vision and Literary Innovation traces how and why Jain authors at different points in history rewrote the story of Rāma and situates these texts within larger frameworks of South Asian religious history and literature.

The book argues that the plot, characters, and the very history of Jain Rāma composition itself served as a continual font of inspiration for authors to create and express novel visions of moral personhood. In making this argument, the book examines three versions of the Rāma story composed by two authors, separated in time and space by over 800 years and thousands of miles. The first is Raviṣeṇa, who composed the Sanskrit Padmapurāṇa (“The Deeds of Padma”), and the second is Brahma Jinadāsa, author of both a Sanskrit Padmapurāṇa and a vernacular (bhāṣā) version of the story titled Rām Rās (“The Story of Rām”). While the three compositions narrate the same basic story and work to shape ethical subjects, they do so in different ways and with different visions of what a moral person actually is. A close comparative reading focused on the differences between these three texts reveals the diverse visions of moral personhood held by Jains in premodernity and demonstrates the innovative narrative strategies authors utilized in order to actualize those visions."


   Jain Rāmāyaṇa Narratives: Moral Vision and Literary Innovation